ACCESS: Above Top Secret
- Apr 16, 2008
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That's frustratingly vague. I guess I had the timeline wrong. I thought the CG/DD-21 designs were being developed with VGAS, then Congress forced the switch to AGS and the designs changed. I'd also really like to see a plan view of that illustration. I can't really see where the VLS modules are supposed to go in relation to the helipad and hangar. It seems the concept was not as well developed as I thought it was.Re. VGAS, has anyone seen any illustrations or models of DD-21 with VGAS rather than AGS? I'd like to know what those initial designs would have looked like.
Early concept design showing AGS (VGAS) combined with a single trainable gun (probably a 5-inch Mk 45 with a low-RCS enclosure).
This would not have represented anything that was actually proposed by industry, since AGS became a trainable gun-launcher before the requirement went out to competition.
There was never more than a vague idea of a design until the Navy put DD-21 out to tender, which was actually a big part of the problem.
So, the Navy did the SC-021 COEA in 1995-1996. That came up with a huge range of possible designs (none developed past general arrangements). Some of these had either VGAS or just excess VLS that could be replaced by VGAS. But none actually became SC-21 (COEA Concept 3B1: Littoral Combatant was close but had 5-inch guns.)
There was a pause in SC-21 in 1996 while Borda pushed ArShip. After his suicide, SC-21 restarted and produced a new OPerational Requirements Document in 1997.
VGAS became AGS in mid to late 1998, largely under congressional pressure, IIRC.
In 1998, DoD (Under Secretary for Acquisition and Technology Jacques Gansler) was pushing the Navy to adopt a new highly contractor-dependent design process (which became official in August 1998). In a departure from past practice, the Navy left even preliminary design to the contractors and only had a list of specified equipment and operational requirements for the contractors to meet. The DD-21 contractor teams started work in (I think) early 2000, with the goal of getting to a selection by April 2001.
So VGAS was dead before the shipbuilders had serious public thoughts about ship arrangements.